Thursday, July 11, 2013

Books - print or ebook?

Living in a fully consistent manner is difficult, and as soon as you come out as wanting to be environmentally aware and sustainable you will face criticism. I admit I don't do everything maybe a I should. So when I shared this image recently elsewhere, it wasn't so much the questioning of whether paper is more environmentally sensitive but the 'and you call yourself an environmentalist' statement. C'est la vie. However, a quick web search yielded this article which points out the minimal CO2 cost of download but then the ereaders themselves and the build in obsolescence. Perhaps using a device that has more general uses (like a tablet) will help, but only if you use it for as long as you can rather than chasing the latest novel.

And for myself, yes using libraries saves CO2 and money, and second hand is to be preferred to new when possible, buying local over the faster O/S services. Life is full of difficulties and temptations. That said, let's be encouraging of those who seek to be green and non-aggressive to those who don't

1 comment:

  1. Mick, I am commenting here as it seems you have defriended me over where the image was posted. Feel free to delete this comment as you see fit.

    Firstly, please let me apologise. I didn't mean to offend you. My choice of comment was meant flippantly, and clearly that didn't come across. I don't really do smileys (can never remember the key stroke combinations) but I momentarily considered trying to add one this time. On reflection my words were judgemental and nasty. I am sorry.

    Secondly, my gut response was more about the wording of the 'meme' or what ever you call these things. Of course owning a massive, visible, bulging library is always going to be more *impressive*. In fact, as far as I can make out, the book trade is *the* original status promoting consumer/materialist industry. Christians of a certain stripe seem to have happily 'baptised' book ownership as a positive good. Heaven forbid that we should be so shallow as to follow fashion, but we must read (and preferably, own) the latest book by x, y, z author. I am as guilty of this as anyone I know. But the minute that this becomes principally about owning a seriously impressive library, surely this is bad, evil, wrong, not of God?

    Whatever environmental problems ereaders produce (and I must say I find the article you link to itself highly unconvincing), they have (among other benefits) the advantage that I will never be tempted to buy a book so that it will be displayed on my shelf and tell everyone what a amazing person I am. This is something that I certainly have done (quasi-unconsciously?) in pre-ereader days.

    I agree with your point above, that acting consistently in line with our principles is passingly difficult. Once more, I am sorry that I used my words against you in the way that I did. Please forgive me.